Regina Parker's resume is a tale of hard work and ambition. Not only did Parker graduate in the top 1% of her class at West Point, she also directed its Aviation Ground School program (teaching the basics of FAA ground rules as a first step towards obtaining a pilot's license), oversaw the Army-Navy flight competitions and led a cadet counseling unit during basic training for incoming freshmen.
Most importantly to Parker, she created the Peer Support Program at the U.S. Military Academy, in which a dozen volunteer cadets were trained to provide mental health counseling to fellow cadets. With only four clinical psychologists serving over 4,000 students at West Point, Parker saw a worrying gap in the Academy's mental health care safety net. Mental health is an issue that has touched Parker personally. Both a close friend and a former instructor of hers at West Point committed suicide during her time there.
After her year in the Schwarzman Scholars program, Parker will attend Harvard Medical School. In the future, Parker hopes to develop national health policies, whether as a commander of a regional hospital or as an appointed official in the Department of Health and Human Services.